Of all that was attempted this side of nothingness, is anything more pathetic than this world, except for the idea which conceived it? Wherever something breathes there is one more infirmity; no palpitation which fails to confirm the disadvantage of being; the flesh horrifies me: these men, these women, offal that moans by the grace of certain spasms – each moment is merely a vote in the urn of my despair.

— E. M. Cioran, A Short History of Decay, 1945

Feces on the other hand make no attempt to endure or to grow. On that score we are far more unfortunate than shit; our frenzy to persist in our present state – that’s the unconscionable torture – This body of ours, this disguise put on by common jumping molecules, is in constant revolt against the abominable farce of having to endure. Our molecules, the little dears, want to get lost in the universe as fast as they can.

— Louis Ferdinand Celine, Journey to the End of the Night, 1932

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